Here at Scene Point Blank we don’t give titles to our work. If I titled my Vacation review, though, it would be named after track ten: “Feedback Got Me High.” Vacation are a punk band but, you know, so were Nirvana (at least on a basic level). The point is this: there’s a lot you can do with those power chords, and Vacation has mastered the technique of doing more with less, making each song sound dirty, disruptive, and brash without sounding like any of their peers. While I give it a broad pen stroke as “punk,” it’s also garage, pop, and a handful of other flowery and hyphenated critics’ terms. The underlying and unifying heart behind it all, however, seems to be a tense and strained control over their anger, ready to burst but just contained, and decorated with melodies that are catchy as hell.
It doesn’t take long to get the feel for growth here. Starter “Pyro Hippies” is more poppy in overall sound, lacking the pounding punk drums. It’s a song that makes a statement: the melody is as important as the noise. That noise, though, rears its head later. The sound as whole is feedback laden and dirty, but songs like “Thick Skinned” bring a straight-up lo-fi jam to make a point. At other times, they harness that feedback, as in “Cellophone” and “Everybody Loves the Sun,” both of which (surprisingly) bring The Jesus & Mary Chain to mind. Others, such as “Feedback Got Me High,” “Horny Politicians,” “SFA, “ and “Straight to My Head” are more descriptive of their overall sound. It’s loud and it’s punky, but its tempered. The noise is strategic in the bigger picture, and the anger is underlying, ready to burst but it never fully erupts. What comes, instead, are strong melodies that let that tension simmer without ever losing its fire. “Straight to My Head” (which reminds of some 1980s California band I can’t quite place) and “Feedback Got Me High” are personal favorites, but everything here is really quite solid and plays well in the context of the whole record.
Where their debut played a bit more off feedback and noise slowly overtaking the pop constructs, here they have unified the two monsters in a holy matrimony. I can’t wait to see how the children turn out.
Posted June 29, 2018, 8:30 p.m.
Ohio's ever-busy Vacation have unveiled the track "Skyline" for their forthcoming new LP Mouth Sounds #2699, due on July 27 (Let's Pretend Records). Last year the band released ...
Posted May 11, 2018, 8:13 p.m.
On July 27, Ohio's Vacation will return with Mouth Sounds #2699, the follow-up to last year's double LP Southern Grass: The Continuation of Rock’n’Roll. The record ...
Posted Aug. 1, 2017, 8:10 a.m.
Cincinnati, Ohio’s Vacation are back with a new album, this time a double LP called Southern Grass: The Continuation of Rock’n’Roll, courtesy of Recess Records. Formed in ...
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.